Ryssland: neutral, allierad, radikal : En studie om identitetskonstruktioner av Ryssland och ontologisk (o)säkerhet i svenska försvarspropositioner sedan kalla krigets slut
Sammanfattning: The purpose of this thesis is to demonstrate the significance of identity as a driving force behind Swedish security policy change. By studying social identity constructions of Russia in Swedish defence propositions from 1992, 2004 and 2015, the thesis concludes that these constructions might have resulted in shifts in Swedish security policy. The thesis uses discourse analysis to examine how Russia was socially constructed as 'difference' in the propositions. Drawing on self/other theories in IR, the study concludes that Russia was constructed in more or less antagonistic forms of ‘otherness’/’difference’ in the different propositions. In 1992, Russia was constructed as a neutral other and a temporally radical other. In 2004, Russia was constructed as a connected other. In 2015, Russia was constructed as a radical other, mostly due to the Russian aggression against and annexation of Crimea. Moreover the article concludes, through a qualitative content analysis, that these perceptions of Russia may have generated ontological (in)security for Swedish political identity. Drawing on Mitzen (2006) and others, the thesis demonstrates that ontological (in)security may have been a driving force behind security policy change. This thesis argues that the search for ontological security may have resulted in European integration for Sweden in 1992, expanded cooperation with Russia in 2004 and a proposition on a strengthened defence capability in 2015. In relation to existing research on Swedish security policy change, this thesis highlights the importance of identity and perceptions of 'others' as a driving force behind security policy change.
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